Web designers, what's the best way to do this?

I’m working on redesigning my portfolio site. I have this vision in my head, which I’m not sure I can pull off (isn’t that always the way?) I’m trying to figure out what I should make in Flash and what I can manage with animated gifs. (I suck at Flash)

First of all, I’m going to have a subtly animated background, which I figured I do as a gif. The navigation bar pretty much has to be flash - it’s going to be floating asteroids with rollovers. The difficult part is that I kind of want the link background to animate up when the link is clicked, but I think if I do that I have to make most of the site in flash, which I don’t want to do. I don’t want to have to go into Flash every time I want to add another portfolio piece.

I’m sorry if I’m not really explaining this well. I guess what I’m asking is, is there a way to load a full HTML page into Flash using XML or whatever? Or should I just make the navbar in flash and have it link to HTML pages?

If I understand what you’re trying to do, it can be accomplished using plain HTML with Javascript rollover handlers, or HTML with CSS. Either of these is a far better solution than Flash, as it keeps the navigation clean and works on virtually all Web browsers and devices.

Never use flash to accomplish what you can with HTML. Flash is a poor choice for a website, unless it is really personal. A lot of people, myself included, turn off flash. My browser disables Flash automatically and then if I want to see it I click.

Remember animation and such is cool for the first time you see it. The it’s just an burden on the computer trying to load it. Once someone sees it, the value is over. Unless of course you’re dealing with a narrow market and a specialty

Start out at Dynamic Drive and look around at their CSS and DHTML libraries and templates and get your ideas there. Then go to their forums and ask if you have questions. I’ve never once had a design issue that they haven’t been very helpful with.

Eh, are you sure you want an animated background?? That sounds pretty nasty.

Why don’t you make rollover states for your menu buttons that are animated gifs of a shooting star?

If you want a Flash menu, just make a Flash menu (although it’s not recommended). No need to make the entire site Flash. A Flash movie is just an object on the page, just like an image is an object or a div is an object. No need to make an entire page out of Flash if you just want one element to be a movie.

Portfolio sites are expected to be pretty flashy. I wouldn’t do a business site like this, ever. (And there’s a limit of course - I visited one where every page loaded up a video of the designer talking in the corner. SO annoying.)

It’s going to be subtle, and mostly covered, so it’ll look alright.

There’s only one thing I can’t figure out, but I don’t think I can explain it, so if I can’t find a script (and thanks Mark, I’d forgotten about Dynamic Drive), I’ll ask again, with pictures and stuff.